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Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?
Dog Behavior

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

How Many Hours Do Dogs Sleep?

Dogs, our faithful companions, often spend a significant portion of their day asleep. On average, adult dogs sleep between 12 to 14 hours per day, while puppies, with their boundless energy, require even more, clocking in around 18 to 20 hours of sleep. This might seem excessive, especially compared to human sleep patterns, but this amount of rest is crucial for dogs' well-being.

The question of "Why do dogs sleep so much?" is multifaceted and can be attributed to various factors, each playing a pivotal role in the sleeping habits of these beloved animals.


Age is a primary factor; puppies expend a lot of energy exploring their world and growing. Why do puppies sleep a lot? They require more sleep to help develop their brains, bodies, and immune systems. On the other hand, senior dogs also tend to sleep more due to their declining energy levels and health.


Breed-specific traits significantly influence sleep patterns. Larger breeds, such as Great Danes or Mastiffs, naturally require more sleep than smaller breeds. This is due to the larger breed's tendency to tire more quickly and their generally more laid-back nature than smaller, often more energetic breeds.


A dog's environment plays a crucial role in how much they sleep. Dogs in a calm, comfortable environment without frequent disturbances are likely to sleep more soundly and for longer periods. Conversely, dogs living in a high-stress environment may sleep less due to anxiety or disturbances.

Health Issues

Health issues can greatly affect a dog's sleep. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, depression, or even fleas can disrupt a dog's sleep pattern, causing them to sleep more or less than the average. Sleeping pills for dogs may be prescribed in some cases, but only under the direct guidance of a veterinarian.

Activity Levels

Dogs with lower activity levels during the day may sleep more simply due to a lack of stimulation and physical exertion. Conversely, highly active dogs also need more sleep to recover from their energetic lifestyles, much like athletes require rest after intensive training.


A dog's diet can influence their sleep patterns. Nutrient-rich diets appropriate for the dog's age, breed, and size can promote better sleep and overall health. On the other hand, a poor diet might lead to sleep issues, among other health problems.

When to Get Help

While it's normal for dogs to sleep a lot, significant changes in sleep patterns may indicate underlying health issues. If your dog sleeps all day and shows changes in behavior, appetite, or activity levels, it's important to consult a veterinarian.

What if My Dog is Restless at Night and Won't Sleep?

Restlessness at night could be due to various reasons, including health issues, anxiety, or even the dog's sleeping environment not being ideal. In such cases, it's crucial to identify and address the underlying cause appropriately, which might involve creating a more comfortable sleeping area, adjusting the dog's diet, or seeking veterinary advice for potential health concerns.

Understanding why dogs sleep so much helps us appreciate our canine companions' natural rhythms and needs. By ensuring they have a comfortable, stress-free environment and proper care, we can help promote their health and happiness, letting them enjoy their slumber and be ready for the next day's adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How much sleep do dogs need by age?

Puppies require about 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day, adult dogs need about 12 to 14 hours, and senior dogs often need more due to their lower energy levels.

Are dogs nocturnal?

Dogs are not nocturnal; they are flexible sleepers that adapt to their owner's schedule, though they naturally prefer to be active during the day.

How many hours do dogs sleep?

On average, dogs sleep between 12 to 14 hours per day, but this can vary based on the dog's age, breed, and lifestyle.

Why does my dog sleep on his back?

Dogs sleep on their backs to cool down as it exposes their belly to the air, and it's also a sign of feeling safe and comfortable in their environment.